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The act of scanning. – Percy.

SCAN-SO'RES, n. [L. scando, to climb.]

An order of fowls whose external toe is directed backward like a thumb, by which they are enabled to cling to and climb upon trees. The whole of this order are not actually climbers; and there are climbing birds that do not belong to this order. The woodpeckers and parrots are an example of this order.


  1. Not full, large or plentiful; scarcely sufficient; rather less than is wanted for the purpose; as, a scant allowance of provisions or water; a scant pattern of cloth for a garment.
  2. Sparing; parsimonious; cautiously affording. Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence. [Not in use.] Shak.
  3. Not fair; free or favorable for a ship's course; as, a scant wind. – Mar. Dict.

SCANT, adv.

Scarcely; hardly; not quite. The people … received of the hankers scant twenty shillings for thirty. [Obsolete or vulgar.] – Camden.

SCANT, v.i.

To fail or become less; as, the wind scants.

SCANT, v.t. [Dan. skaanet, from skaaner, to spare.]

To limit; to straiten; as, to scant one in provisions; to scant ourselves in the use of necessaries; to scant a garment in cloth. I am scanted in the pleasure of dwelling on your actions. Dryden.


Limited; straitened.

SCANT'I-LY, adv. [from scanty.]

  1. Not fully; not plentifully. The troops were scantily supplied with flour.
  2. Sparingly; niggardly; as, to speak scantily of one. [Unusual.] – Shak.


  1. Narrowness; want of space or compass; as, the scantiness of our heroic verse. – Dryden.
  2. Want of amplitude, greatness or abundance; limited extent. Alexander was much troubled at the scantiness of nature itself. – South.
  3. Want of fullness; want of sufficiency; as, the scantiness of supplies.

SCANT'LE, v.i.

To divide into thin or small pieces; to shiver. – Chesterfield.

SCANT'LE, v.t.

To be deficient; to fail. – Drayton.

SCANT'LET, n. [See Scantling.]

A small pattern; a small quantity. [Not in use.] – Hale.


Not plentiful; small. [Not in use.] – Taylor.

SCANT'LING, n. [Fr. echantillon, a pattern; Sp. escantillon; Port. escantilham.]

  1. A pattern; a quantity cut for a particular purpose. – L'Estrange.
  2. A small quantity; as, a scantling of wit. – Dryden. Locke.
  3. A certain proportion or quantity. – Shak.
  4. In the United States, timber sawed or cut into pieces of a small size, as for studs, rails, &c. This seems to be allied to the scandula, and it is the sense in which I have ever heard it used in this country.
  5. In seamen's language, the dimensions of a piece of timber, with regard to its breadth and thickness. – Mar. Dict.

SCANT'LY, adv.

  1. Scarcely; hardly. [Obs.] – Camden.
  2. Not fully or sufficiently; narrowly; penuriously; without amplitude. – Dryden.

SCANT'NESS, n. [from scant.]

Narrowness; smallness; as, the scantness of our capacities. – Glanville.

SCANTY, a. [from scant, and having the same signification.]

  1. Narrow; small; wanting amplitude or extant. His dominions were very narrow and scanty, / Now scantier limits the proud arch confine. – Locke.
  2. Poor; not copious or full; not ample; hardly sufficient; as, a scanty language; a scanty supply of words; a scanty supply of bread.
  3. Sparing; niggardly; parsimonious. In illustrating a point of difficulty, be not too scanty of words. – Watts.

SCAP'A-ISM, n. [Gr. σκαπτω, to dig or make hollow.]

Among the Persians, a barbarous punishment inflicted on criminals by confining them in a hollow tree till they died. Bailey.

SCAPE, n.1

  1. An escape. [See Escape.]
  2. Means of escape; evasion. – Donne.
  3. Freak; aberration; deviation. – Shak.
  4. Loose act of vice or lewdness. – Shak. [Obsolete in all its senses.]

SCAPE, n.2 [L. scapus; probably allied to scipio, and the Gr. σκηπτρον, scepter.]

In botany, a radical stem bearing the fructification without leaves, as in the narcissus and hyacinth. – Martyn.

SCAPE, v.t.

To escape; a contracted word, not now used except in poetry, and with a mark of elision. [See Escape.]

SCAPE'-GOAT, n. [escape and goat.]

In thy Jewish ritual a goat which was brought to the door of the tabernacle, where the high priest laid his hands upon him, confessing the sins of the people, and putting them on the head of the goat; after which the goat was sent into the wilderness, bearing the iniquities of the people. Lev. xvi.

SCAPE'LESS, a. [from scape.]

In botany, destitute of a scape.


The method of communicating the impulse of the wheels to the pendulum of a clock. Chambers.

SCA'PHITE, n. [L. scapha.]

Fossil remains of the scapha, or an extinct genus of Cephalapodes of a boat-shaped form.